By Fisseha Moges,
National Programs Management Support Advisor
At Pathfinder, we believe that collaboration and partnership in health are central to strengthening the healthcare delivery systems and enhancing the capacity of healthcare providers and leaders and is where transformation begins. It’s incredible to have such varying technical capabilities in a single organization. Pathfinder International, through its USAID funded flagship project, joins new and innovative international and Ethiopian actors to a successful and effective consortium where each member organization brings its technical expertise to project implementation as well as new ways of doing things for the betterment of the health of the communities we serve.
The entire purpose of our partnerships is to offer demand-driven technical assistance to support the operationalization of the Ethiopian government’s health sector transformation plan, and to provide coordinated and sustained support to partner regions, zones, and districts.
To advance and manage our partnership efforts, Pathfinder has a roster of Resource Partners, including We Care Solar, which bring a range of Ethiopian and international experiences and innovative thinking to provide on-demand technical assistance as needs are identified during activity implementation.
The greatest impact of our work with partners
Due to the wide partnership window we have opened in-country and globally, we were able to bring various innovative and scalable strategies and practices to our programs and effectively transfer those skills and expertise to the public system in Ethiopia. This partnership has created a wonderful opportunity for us to collaborate in various areas and share experiences with one another.
Based on our collaboration with others, things have gone smoothly in the course of our projects. Our impact in implementation capacities of the health system at all levels have increased, the health of the community significantly improved, and our technical expertise base has widened further. In addition to the direct impact our work brings to the health and wellbeing at the community level, our influence and contribution to the national and global community in this sector has been amplified due to our collaborative approach and rich partnerships.
Our partnership with We Care Solar
Since we established our partnership with We Care Solar three years ago, we have reached more than 270 health facilities with Solar Suitcases. In addition to the high-tech and context appropriate products from We Care Solar, the responsiveness of the team, videos, instructions, all the necessary tools in the pack, and the step-by-step and well-structured training and installation guides have been exemplary for us to take as a key lesson and adapt and scale it up to other innovative approaches and interventions.
While it seems that introducing solar energy is a different sector from the health sector, we are well known for and experienced in our collaboration with We Care Solar. Their expertise has helped us widen our impact and address the critical bottlenecks in the rural health facilities to provide quality care.
The introduction of such innovations to the rural health facilities, where there is not any source of power or frequent power interruptions, influenced both the demand and supply side of the health services. On the demand side, having introduced such an innovation in the health facilities, we have helped community members understand that having such a power option in the health facilities will help improve diagnostic capacity and infection prevention practice, making them feel confident in visiting the health facilities to seek care. On the supply side, health care providers feel comfortable providing services to their patients at any time of the day, including during the night. Their diagnostic capacity and confidence have been improved and ultimately resulted in an increased maternal health service utilization compared to their records in previous years.
Message to We Care Solar and other organization on the ‘Power of Partnership’
Doing things alone might seem easy and appear to have no cost, but no one will move faster and sustain changes made to the nation and the generations to come unless new advancements and technologies are supported through collaboration and win-win partnership principles.
By partnership, we mean a give and take strategy where the synergistic effects of two or more organizations is reflected. With synergy, results will be more than the sum of the partners or individuals, and exceed the result they would achieve if they did things separately. Considering the critical importance of our work and understanding of the importance of partnership, Pathfinder International will continue collaborating with We Care Solar in this technology and other healthcare advancements through its current and future projects.